34: Renewal Of Oath At The Hands Of Imam (aj) Every Day - Every Friday

One of the duties during Ghaibat is to renew the oath of fealty with Imam (aj). This can be accomplished after every obligatory prayer, or on Friday. There are two aspects of this discussion. (1) In the meaning of Bayyat (oath) (2) The command of Bayat.

Discussion One: Meaning of Bayat

Bayat means that a person gives oath of fealty to a person in all sincerity and with loyalty. That is, he shall help with his property and life one to whom he has given the oath. And in helping him he shall not be deficient in anything related to this oath.1

It this like the oath mentioned in Dua Ahad. There is special emphasis to recite it in the morning for forty days regularly. Also, the Messenger of Allah (S) has commanded his nation to pay allegiance to the Purified Imams (as). And there is no difference between the presence or absence (Ghaibat) of Imam (as). This type of allegiance is a necessary requirement of Eimaan. Rather, you cannot imagine faith without allegiance. Thus the seller here, is the believer and the purchaser is the Almighty Allah. As mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ

Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden.” (Qur’an, Surah Taubah 9:111)

Allah, the High and the Mighty has encouraged the prophets and messengers for renewal and emphasis of this Bayyat that one who does Bayyat to them, it is as if he has given Bayyat to the Almighty Allah. And one who neglects it, it is as if he has ignored Allah; it is from this aspect that the Almighty Allah says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ فَمَنْ نَكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنْكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his faith), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward. (Qur’an, Surah Fath 48:10)

This verse also proves that Bayyat and Mubaiya both imply the same ledge and vow with Allah and His Messenger, and those who fulfill this pledge are promised a great reward.

This Bayyat can be established in two steps:

Firstly: Making a firm intention to be steadfast in obeying the command of Imam (as) and helping him; and sacrificing ones life and property for him as mentioned in the holy verse: “Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this…” Now it is obligatory on the seller to hand over without any delay, what he has sold to the buyer whenever the latter demands it and that which is in his mind will be revealed.

Secondly: What he has in his mind and that which he has decided should be at the same time expressed verbally and in this manner the Bayyat will take place, just as the formula of sale and purchase and other transactions is not complete except through two steps: One: An intention and determination to undertake that transaction as per the agreement of the buyer and seller; and Two: To recite all this verbally; and only after that is the transaction complete.

Sometimes Bayyat is also performed by putting of ones hand over that of the other as was customary among the Arabs and this is according to the saying of the Almighty: One who does Bayyat to you, has in fact done Bayyat to Allah. Allah’s hand is upon his hand. Moreover, companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) used to place their hands in the hand to give Bayyat.

In Ihtijaj it is mentioned in the incident in which our master, Amirul Momineen (as) was forced to do the Bayyat to the first usurper of caliphate as follows: Then they pulled the hand of His Eminence [Amirul Momineen (as)], while he was holding it back, but they pulled by force and putting it over the hand of Abu Bakr said: Do the Bayyat. Do the Bayyat. And the call echoed in the Masjid: Abul Hasan has done the Bayyat, done the Bayyat…

Also in Ihtijaj it is mentioned in the traditional report of our master His Eminence, Baqir (as) that he said: When Usamah entered Medina and saw that people had joined on the Bayyat of Abu Bakr, he went to Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as) and said to His Eminence: What is this? Ali (as) replied: It is as you see! Usamah asked: Have you done Bayyat to him? He replied: Yes, O Usamah. Usamah said: Did you do it of your own accord or you were forced? Imam Ali (as) said: Yes, it was by force…2

Thus from what we have mentioned it becomes clear that allegiance is effected by putting ones hands in another’s. In the same way is shaking of the hands as the experts of lexicology are aware. And it is called a ‘good allegiance’ and it is mentioned in tradition that ‘Allah has blessed the shaking of hands’. And the poet has said:

Time came to purchase my life continually. I said I will not sell it for the world and what is in it. But it began to purchase it little by little with nothing. May those hands perish that sell at a loss.

In Kafi, it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as) that he said: One who separates from the congregation of Muslims and breaks the allegiance of the Imam will come to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime on Judgment Day with amputed hand.3

Although it must be clarified that placing of the hand is itself not the essence of Bayyat, it only a sign that Bayyat is complete and apparently whereas the main thing is the pledge and vow so that one is really included among the believers who have purchased Paradise even thought they might not have placed their hands over the hand of the Messenger of Allah (S) or the Imam (as), as was the case of most believers who lived during the time of the Holy Imam (as). We will bring the evidence for this. The aim of all this was that this is a deviation. I beg to the Almighty Allah by the Barakah of Ahle Bayt (as) to keep us safe from deviation.

Discussion Two: Regarding the command of Bayyat

Here it must be mentioned that: Bayyat in the first sense is obligatory on all; men and women, slave and freemen, rather Faith is not complete without it, as the essence of faith is belief by heart and acceptance by tongue of the obedience of the Prophet and the Holy Imams (as) and to submit to them and to help them with ones life and property. The Almighty Allah says:

النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ

The Prophet has a greater claim on the faithful than they have on themselves. (Qur’an, Surah Ahzab 33:6)

The Almighty Allah also says:

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

But no! by your Lord! they do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission. (Qur’an, Surah Nisa 4:65)

As submission to the commands of the Prophet and Imams (as) with that which is related to ones life, relatives and property, is a sign of perfection of faith.

Among the proofs of essentiality of Bayyat with all Imams (as) is a tradition that is mentioned in the Sermon of Ghadeer Day quoted from the Messenger of Allah (S) in which he (S) commanded the people to give Bayyat to Amirul Momineen (as), Hasan (as) and Husain (as) and the Imams from the progeny of Husain (as) and the Prophet reminded them of the pledge to obey them, even though they were all not contemporary to the people of that time. It was only done so because it is obligatory to believe in the heart and make a firm pledge to follow and help them, to sacrifice ones life and property on their path and to obey their commands.4

And all that we have mentioned is included in the following verse of Qur’an:

قُلْ إِنْ كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Apostle and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the transgressing people. (Qur’an, Surah Taubah 9:24)

Since this matter is very much clear there is no need to bring further evidences to prove it. Supporting this point we also find a tradition narrated through Sunni channels and recorded in Muslim, Bukhari and Rabiul Abrar5 of Zamakhshari that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: One who dies without having on his neck, allegiance to the Imam of the Muslims, dies the death of paganhood.

Renewal of Bayyat Everyday

Now that you have understood what we have explained above, we say: It is recommended that the mentioned Bayyat should be renewed everyday according to the evidence that Sayyid Ali Ibne Tawoos has mentioned in Misbahuz Zaer and other scholars have also mentioned in their books that among the recommended things is to recite the following Dua everyday after the Morning Prayer:

O Allah, convey to the master, the Master of the Time, from all the believer men and women in the easts of the earth and its west. In its lands and its seas, in its plains and its mountains, their living and their dead, and from my parents and my children and from me, from the blessings and greetings, which are the weight of Allah’s throne and ink on his words, and whatever His knowledge enumerates and his book encompasses.

O Allah renew for him my covenant, pledge and allegiance on my neck on this day and whatever days (of my life) I live. O Allah, like You honored me with this honor, and gave me this excellence and bestowed this bounty to me especially, bless my master and chief, the leader of the time and make me from his helpers and followers and protectors and make me of those who seek martyrdom in his presence, with full eagerness, without any hesitation put me in that row of the army of those whom You have described in Your Book and said: “in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall” on Your obedience and the obedience of Your Messenger and his progeny, peace be on them. O Allah, indeed, this allegiance is upon my neck till Judgment Day.6

In Mazar Bihar, the Late Allamah Majlisi, after the mention of this pledge says: I have seen in some ancient books that after reciting this Dua one has to place his right hand over his left like it is done in Bayyat.7 And it is also recommended that this pledge should be renewed after every obligatory prayer according to a tradition that is quoted from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) in Biharul Anwar citing Al-Ikhtiyar of Sayyid Ibne Baqi,8 which we had mentioned at the beginning of Part Six.

Dua Ahad

One of the supplications for renewing the allegiance to Imam az-Zaman (aj) is Dua Ahad. Regarding this Dua, Imam Sadiq (as) says: One who recites this Dua for forty days, will be included among the helpers of Hazrat Qaim (aj). If he dies before reappearance, the Almighty Allah will make him alive so that he can fight Jihad alongside him (Imam Mahdi a.f.t.s.). For every word of this Dua a thousand Hasanat (good deeds) are written in the scroll of his deeds and one thousand sins shall be erased. The Dua is as follows:

In some traditional reports it is mentioned that after this hit your hand on your thigh and say thrice:

In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful. O Allah ! Lord of the great light, Lord of the elevated throne, Lord of the tumultuous seas and the revealer of the Taurat, Injil and Zaboor, Lord of the shadows and the warmths, and the revealer of the Great Qur’an. Lord of the proximate angels and Prophets and Messengers.

O Allah I beseech thee, for the sake of Your noble visage. And for the sake of Your enlightening visage, and Your ever existing kingdom. O Ever living! O Controller! I beseech thee in Your name. Which lits the heavens and the Earths; and in Your name, by which the ancient and the latter ones become upright. O Ever living Who was before every living being. O Ever living Who shall (exist) after every living being. O Ever living who existed when there was no life. O giver of life to dead. O one who causes death to the living one.

O Ever living. There is no god except You. O Allah send our master the leader, the Guide, the guided, the upriser with Your command. Blessings of Allah be on him and his pure forefathers. From all the believing men and believing women. In the easts of the earth and its wests, in its plains and its mountains, its lands and its seas, from me and my parents. Blessings which are the weight of Allah’s throne and ink on his words, and whatever His knowledge enumerates and his book encompasses.

O Allah renew for him my covenant, pledge and allegiance on my neck in the morning of this day of mine and whatever days (of my life) I live. I shall never turn away from it nor let it ever vanish. O Allah appoint me among his helpers, aides, and his protectors. Those who hasten to fulfill his commands and obey his orders. Those who are his supporters and compete with each other to (fulfill) his intention and seek martyrdom in his presence.

O Allah! If death occurs between me and him (before the reappearance) (death which You have made obligatory and decreed for Your servants, then raise me from my grave, wrapped in my shroud, my sword unsheathed, my spear bared, answering the call of the caller in cities as well as deserts.

O Allah! Show me the rightly guided face of (Imam a.s.), the praiseworthy moon and enlighten my vision by looking at him. Hasten his reappearance, make his arrival smooth, vasten his path, make me tread on his way and implement his authority and strengthen his back. O Allah, inhabit Your cities through him, and give life to your servants due to him for surely You have said and Your word is truth, “Corruption will become rampant in land and on sea because of the evil which men’s hand have earned.”

Then O Allah! Manifest for us Your slave and the son of Your Prophet’s daughter, whose name is the same as that of Your Messenger. So that nothing from falsehood is victorious except that he tears them (falsehood) to pieces, establishes the truth and the truth confirms him. And O Allah! Appoint him as a refuge for Your oppressed servant and a helper for the one who does not find any helper for himself except You and the renewer of all the laws of Your book which have been tempered with and rebuilder of the signs of Your religion and of Your Prophet (peace of Allah be on him and his Progeny).

And O Allah! Make him among those whom You have protected from the evils of the adversaries. O Allah! And provide joy to your Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on him and his Progeny). By his vision and (the vision of) the one who follows him on his call. O Allah! Remove this sorrow (of occultation) from this nation with his presence and hasten for us his reappearance. They (the disbelievers) consider it to be distant while we consider it to be near. For the sake of Your mercy, O the most Merciful of all mercifuls.

…hit your hand on your thigh and say thrice:

Hasten! Hasten! O my Master, O master of the era.

Renewal of oath every Friday

It is Mustahab (recommended) to renew the oath of allegiance with Imam az-Zaman (aj) every Friday. According to traditions every Friday the angels gather at Baitul Ma’moor and renew the oath of allegiance to Imams (as). There is another Dua by Imam Sajjad (as) expressing the same thoughts.

This Dua is recorded in the book Abwaabul Jannaat Fee Aadaabil Jamaat. Moreover, Friday is the day when the Almighty Allah has obtained the oath of allegiance from mankind for the Wilayat of Imams (as). One should try to perform as many virtuous acts as possible on this day, because the reward for deeds is double on Fridays and there is no doubt that this oath of allegiance is an exceedingly important and perfect act of worship.

Command for Bayyat in the second meaning

In the second meaning is the command for Bayyat. That is the command of putting ones hand into the hand of one whom we pay allegiance. This is also of two types: (1) In the presence of Imam (as). (2) In the Ghaibat of Imam (as). In the first case, once Imam issues a command there is nothing that can make the opposite valid because it is obligatory to obey the Imam (as). If Imam (as) demands allegiance from us we have to give him the oath of allegiance or in case he commands we have to give it to his special representative (Naib-e-Khaas). An example of this type of allegiance is the allegiance commanded by the Holy Prophet (S) for Ali (as) at Ghadeer-e-Khum.

However, in the presence of an Infallible Imam if a fallible person demands allegiance, is it allowed to obey him? The Reply: If that person is specially appointed by Imam (as) and Imam (as) has commanded us to give him the oath of allegiance, giving him oath of allegiance is necessary. Because in these circumstances his Bayyat shall be construed as the Bayyat of Imam (as) and it is obligatory.

However, if Imam (as) has not appointed him specially and has not issued any command, it is not permitted to give him oath of allegiance. Whether that person calls people to himself or claims to be the special representative of Imam (as), because the actual laws could be ascertained from the one who frames the laws.

And such a thing was not there at time of the Imams that some other person may be given Bayyat in lieu of the Imam. Because such a thing would imply that you give Bayyat to one who has temporal power. And in that case you would be bound to lay at his disposal your life and property and everything. Now such a thing has not been allowed for anyone, except the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (as). Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ

The Prophet has a greater claim on the faithful than they have on themselves. (Qur’an, Surah Ahzab 33:6)

And the Almighty Allah said:

إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ 

Only Allah is your Guardian and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. (Qur’an, Surah Maidah 5:55)

And He also said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ

O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you. (Qur’an, Surah Nisa 4:59)

Traditions that support this point are so numerous that cannot even be counted; and some of them are mentioned in Usool Kafi and Basairud Darajat. It is also mentioned in the supplication of Imam Zainul Abideen (as) for Friday and two Eids as follows: “O Lord, verily this position belongs to Your vicegerents and Your chosen ones and is the place of Your trusted ones in the exalted rank with which You distinguished them. People robbed them of it…”9

On the basis of what we have explained, it becomes clear that it is not allowed to do Bayyat of anyone other than the Prophet and the Imams (as). Because if one does such Bayyat, it implies that he has considered them to share in the holy status of the Prophet and the Imams that the Almighty Allah has given to them and as a result of his opposition to the chosen ones of Allah, he goes out of the pale of faith. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ

And it behooves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter. (Qur’an, Surah Ahzab 33:36)

Interpreting the words of Almighty that:

وَلَقَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

And certainly, it has been revealed to you and to those before you: Surely if you associate (with Allah), your work would certainly come to naught and you would certainly be of the losers. (Qur’an, Surah Zumar 39:65)

A traditional report says: If you associate (with Ali’s Wilayat anyone else) your work would certainly come to naught…This tradition is mentioned in Burhan and other books.10

From what we have discussed it becomes clear that it is not allowed to do Bayyat for any of the people, whether they be scholars or laymen, whether it be to them directly or on behalf of the Imam in the period of occultation of His Eminence. As we mentioned previously it would denote absolute authority and rulership, because Bayyat to them is Bayyat to Allah as mentioned in the Ghadeer Sermon. Thus one who does Bayyat to them, does Bayyat to the Almighty Allah and one who turns away from them turns away from the Almighty Allah.

That which further proves that Bayyat to anyone other than the Prophet and Imams (as) is invalid, is a tradition mentioned in Biharul Anwar quoting from Mufaddal bin Umar from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said: O Mufaddal, every kind of Bayyat before the reappearance of His Eminence Qaim (aj) is a Bayyat of infidelity, hypocrisy and deception; the Almighty Allah has cursed one who gives such Bayyat and one who takes it…11As you can clearly see, this tradition is emphatic that all Bayyats are invalid, whether it be to a scholar or to a layman. And also that Bayyat means absolute submission to the authority, which is not allowed for anyone except His Eminence. For example:

1. There is no mention of any Bayyat between the companions of any of the Imams. And neither is there any record of Bayyat between the believers who were present in their time.

2. There is no traditional report which can show that any of the Imams allowed any of their companions to take Bayyat on their behalf.

3. There is no mention of Bayyat in sayings and writings and books of scholars and there is no mention of its manner and decorum etc. Rather we have no instance from the time of the Holy Imams (as) that Bayyat to so and so implied Bayyat to the Imam.

4. The Messenger of Allah (S) noticed at time Bayyat was being given to Amirul Momineen (as) that it was not possible for all of them to place their hands on his, so he told them to recite the Bayyat only verbally. He did not tell them to give Bayyat to another righteous companion of his on behalf of Amirul Momineen (as) while such a thing was possible at that time. But as we see in Ihtijaj there is no mention of it in that account.12 Those who like may refer to this book.

5. When the Messenger of Allah (S) conquered Mecca and was taking Bayyat from the people, some ladies also wanted to do Bayyat to him. The Holy Prophet (S) said: ‘I don’t shake hands with ladies,’ and then he called for a bowl of water, placed his and in it, then removed his hand and told the ladies: Now put your hands in this water as this very act is Bayyat.

This tradition and other traditions on this topic have come in Kafi, Burhan and other books. A notable point is that the Holy Prophet (S) did not select one of the ladies to take Bayyat on his behalf.

6. That which is mentioned by Allamah Majlisi in Biharul Anwar after quoting the Dua or renewal of Bayyat: I have seen in some ancient books that after reciting this Dua one has to place his right hand over his left like it is done in Bayyat.13 Note it is allowed to place one’s right hand over one’s left hand but it is not allowed to place it on anyone else’s hand.

7. In Ihtijaj it is mentioned from our master His Eminence, Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) that after narrating about the event of Ghadeer, the Prophet’s sermon on that occasion and how Bayyat was given to Amirul Momineen (as), he said: The giving of Bayyat continued for three days. Whenever a group of people gave Bayyat the Messenger of Allah (S) used to remark: Praise be Allah, Who gave excellence to us over all the worlds. Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) says: And the giving of hand in Bayyat became a Sunnat and a custom, lest someone who does have the right to this position should misuse it.14

I say: From all that we have mentioned etc. it is certain that the mode of Bayyat that took shape between the Prophet and his companions, that is putting one’s hand in that of others, was something that was restricted to the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imam (as). No one other than them was permitted to take it in that way except if he had been appointed as a representative of the Prophet or an Imam. Representation in this matter is same as representation in other issues.

If it is said: On the basis of the norm that general guardianship is proved for the jurisprudent it can be said that the jurisprudent is a representative of Imam (as); thus it is permissible for him to take Bayyat from the people in the capacity of being the representative of Imam (as), and it is permissible for the people to give Bayyat to them and put their hands on his hand.

I will say: Firstly: General guardianship (Wilayat) is not proved for the Faqih (jurisprudent).

Secondly: Even if we suppose that general guardianship is proved for the Faqih, according to traditions it is one of those issues that are only valid for the Prophet and the Imams (as), like the matter of Jihad, which is only possible during the time of the Imam and by his permission; and it is like the Eid Prayer which is Wajib only in the presence of the Imam and it is not allowed for any representative to take the place of the Imam.

Its equal is that the manners of Imams (as) in eating, drinking and dressing, when they are in power will be on the manners of Amirul Momineen (as) – as mentioned in some traditional reports – to quote whom here would prolong the discussion - and its equal is lawfulness of sacrifice while the wife and children are in need and distress etc. and like eating from the right hand is despicable etc. that the Holy Prophet (S) and the Imams have mentioned.

Thirdly: Supposing that it is not proved that Bayyat is restricted for the Prophet and Imams, in that case the Faqih can also take the Bayyat but it cannot be proved that it is allowed for non-infallibles to take Bayyat on behalf of the infallibles.

If it is said: Its legality can be proved by verses that exhort the people to follow the Prophet (S). For example the verse:

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي 

Say: If you love Allah, then follow me. (Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran 3:31)

And the verse:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ

Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day. (Qur’an, Surah Ahzab 33:21)

The point of evidence is that: Since it is recommended to emulate the Prophet in every action it is also recommended to take Bayyat like he did.

I will say: Firstly: There is nothing which proves that it is obligatory or recommended to emulate the Prophet in each and everything he did. The only thing that is established is that the believers have to follow all the commands and prohibitions of His Eminence. And if we go into more details, we would be going beyond the scope of this book.

Secondly: Supposing we take the verses to mean that emulating the Prophet is preferable in all instances; I will say: In that case it will have to be exactly in the same fashion as was in the time of the Prophet and the Imams. That is it was conducted under their orders and it was by putting ones hand in the hand of His Eminence, or as per his instruction as was the case of Bayyat to Muslim Ibne Aqeel under the express instructions of Imam Husain (as).

But in this time of ours there is nothing which can prove the legality of giving Bayyat by placing a hand in another, thus it would be a heresy and an unlawful act. It will be a source of curse and regret and this is from the aspect of the statement of our master, Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) when he said to Mufaddal: “O Mufaddal, every kind of Bayyat before the reappearance of His Eminence Qaim (aj) is a Bayyat of infidelity, hypocrisy and deception…”

What we have mentioned is the corrupted belief of a scholar from Zanjan, who in his book, Saighul Uqood, has advocated that it is recommended to give Bayyat to the Faqihs, and he has composed a formula to be recited for this Bayyat. In the beginning of the discussion the author has himself admitted that the formula of Bayyat is not found in any of the books of the ancient or modern scholars.

I say: O intelligent reader, can you imagine that all the scholars from the time of the Holy Imam (as) to this day have ignored such an important matter, even though it is also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, even though it is something that is supposed to be obligatory or recommended? And that none of them have ever mentioned it in their speeches and in any gatherings? Can it be anything other than that it is not lawful to place ones hand in another’s for Bayyat except in case of the Holy Imam (as) or his special representative? So much so that they have not even mentioned it as a possibility as they have done in case of many other jurisprudential issues. We pray to the Almighty Allah to protect us from mistakes and deviation in speech and actions.

Since the book written by this person is in Persian we see that he has tried to prove that Bayyat is recommended in this age through the following verse:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ فَمَنْ نَكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنْكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his faith), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward. (Qur’an, Surah Fath 48:10)

He says: It is known that it is a rewarding act and having the same position as pledge to Allah, and like placing ones hand in the hand of Allah, even though it may not be obligatory, it in any case be recommended emphatically.15 Then he says: “The main thing in an act or avoidance of the Holy Prophet (S) that serves as a preface to his prophethood is inclination.”16 At that point he says: “And since his inclination is known thus by the proof of originality of sharing it can also be referred to the Imam (as) and also his deputies.”

This is his conclusion and you know such a statement is not appropriate to be announced by scholars. Since the holy ayat proves that it is obligatory to fulfill the vow made to the Holy Prophet (S) and it is that whoever fulfills it would be given a great reward; and one who breaks that oath will cause harm to himself. To prove allegiance to anyone other than the Prophet is more difficult with this verse.

But the root that is mentioned in its first doubt is that: It is an intellectual matter to be inclined to something that is related to the Holy Prophet (S). In addition to the fact that it is recommended and that its reward is in addition to the actual act that the Holy Prophet (S) has ordered. It is like looking for water for purification [as it is logical] so, to prove recommendation from the root is something we cannot accept from minor scholars, what to say of the senior ones?

The second doubt is that: Obedience of the Holy Prophet (S) in message and commands cannot be applied to giving of Bayyat, it is like other actions in which it is obligatory to take the decree of the Holy Prophet (S). Thus when it is proved that a particular act is obligatory or unlawful, its performance or avoidance is obligatory. And in cases when the dos and don’ts are not proved to be from His Eminence, like eating, drinking and other common place actions, if the doer performs them considering them beyond the ambit of Shariah, it would be lawful for him, but if he considers them to be prescribed by Shariah it would amount to heresy and is unlawful. Now in the case of Bayyat we see that the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (as) have not sanctioned it; rather they have prohibited it in some traditions; hence such a thing is heresy and unlawful.

If it is said: It is possible to hope for reward and give allegiance so that it not be considered unlawful or an innovation.

I will say: Firstly, it is that: after having proved that it is a specialty of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Imam and we explained that prohibition for it has come from the Imams (as), there is no scope of it in hope of reward or with possibility of it being likeable. Secondly: Even if we ignore all these points and suppose that it is not a specialty of the Holy Prophet (S) and Imams and there is no prohibition of it.

I say: The topic of traditional report, “One who hears about a reward for doing a thing and he does to in hope of that reward,” is related to the excellence of an act or deed regarding which there is tradition of the Imam and a person performs those acts in that hope and if in fact the tradition has not come from the Imams and a believer performs them the Almighty Allah through His grace will give that same reward to him.

Now I will ask that person: Which weak tradition proves allegiance to anyone other than the Imam (as)? And which scholar has issued Fatwa that it is recommended or which scholar has said that it can be performed in hope of getting rewards? While this person himself knows that he has confessed at the beginning of his statement that no former or latter scholars have mentioned such a thing. We pray to the Almighty Allah to keep us safe from this deviation through His mercy and blessings.

As for the matter of originality of sharing the responsibility, we say with the help of the Almighty Allah: The requirement of proving it, rather it is a necessity of that the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (S) understands that the Shariat and law of His Eminence will endure till Judgment Day and all the people since the time of the Besat of the Holy Prophet (S) till Judgment Day are duty bound to follow this Shariat and act on the commands and prohibitions and it is a requirement of the finality of prophethood of His Eminence on the basis of some clear verses of Qur’an. However, there is no doubt that whenever there are some apparent contradictions in subjects and conditions, the Almighty Allah has clarified them. We can say that the acts and laws of the Holy Prophet (S) were of four types:

First: Those which were obligatory only for His Eminence like: Witr Prayer or some special laws of marriage that scholars have mentioned in their books.

Second: Those which are common for the present and the absent; those who were present during the time of His Eminence and those who came after him: Like: The obligation of obligatory prayer and the recommended nature of recommended prayers; and the obligations of Zakat and Hajj etc. and other obligatory and recommended acts; and the prohibition of prohibited things and many laws that resemble them.

Third: It is restricted to those that were present during the time of the Infallibles (as) like: Obligatory nature of Jihad, and obligatory nature of Prayers of Eidul Fitr and Eidul Qurban. Obligatory nature of Friday Prayer for all the people etc…

Fourth: Laws about which it was understood that they were only for the people of those times since there was nothing to show that they could be also for those who were not present at that time. For example: Some laws that were revealed for particular situations and there is no proof they were also intended for those who are not present at that time.

In the same way is the matter of allegiance that the Holy Prophet (S) ordered only those who were present there to take it. If we suppose that there was no proof of their restriction, or if we ignore the mentioned proofs, in such matters it would be necessary to refer to the original command and we cannot assume sharing of the responsibility. Because a doubtful obligation, logically and lawfully shows its negativity.

On the basis of this “originality of sharing the responsibility” as this person has mentioned, there is no proof for it as is clear to intelligent persons. Rather one can say: If we accept sharing of responsibility in similar circumstances we would not be able to prove the recommended nature of doing the Bayyat in time of Ghaibat.

Because all that which calls for attention must be such that at the time of address that person was not present there so that it may prove that he also shares the responsibility. And this is not possible in our discussion, since it supposes that allegiance was obligatory on those who were present with the Holy Prophet (S) and the Imam. And this is not applicable to those who were not present at that time – like the people of this period. So they cannot be held responsible for it.

Also, from another aspect it is not proved that the people of this period should be responsible for that Bayyat, since: The Holy Prophet (S) ordered the people who were present that they should do Bayyat at that particular time. So it is not proved for the people who were present there, even after that time. Then how can we say about those who were not present only at that time? Since in its place we have proved that the order should be about a new matter and it is not necessary that it should be enforced after the expiry of its time, except if there is another proof for it, and here we have assumed that there is no such proof.

There is another objection against this person and that is: The requirement of proof which he himself has brought, if it is over, it is that of the obligation of allegiance which will be applicable with the hand on all the people in all times since the Holy Prophet (S) made it an obligation on those who were present there. Thus requirement of sharing the responsibility according to his view is a source of accepting that the obligation is also upon those who were not present there at the time of His Eminence (S). While it is that this person does not fit this description as is clear from his statement.

Another aspect of Bayyat

From what we have mentioned, it becomes clear that it is not proper to give allegiance at the hands of the Shaykh as some Sufis believe and practice. These people think that it is obligatory to give Bayyat to the Shaykh and that it is a part of faith and that the faith is not complete without it and they have named it ‘Bayyat-e-Walwiya’ and ‘Bayyat-e-Khaassatul Eimaan’ and they think that it is only for the Sufi Shaykhs. They says: Giving of Bayyat is not allowed except to those whom the Shaykh permits.

This matter is a principle of their faith from their four principles. First we quote one of their scholars in Bayanus Saada regarding this and then by the help of Allah present a critique: In the exegesis of Surah Yunus, he says with regard to illegality of doing Bayyat to one the Shaykh has not permitted: “Just as some of those who pretend to be Sufis have dared to do without the permission of the infallible Shaykhs”,17 and then he goes on to say: In the same way are the true Sufis, in commands and prohibitions and in explaining the laws and seeking forgiveness for the people and taking Bayyat from them are not included except whom they have permitted and there is an organized system of Bayyat in their orders.18

In Tafseer of Surah Taubah after the mention of obligation of Bayyat in all times and necessity of touching the hand of the Shaykh he says: “And this was a strong Sunnah from the time of Adam till the period of the Holy Prophet (S), in such a way that the people of religion did not find anyone worthy of it except the chief of religion or one whom he has appointed to take the Bayyat. And there were for him conditions and manners and none except him fulfilled it. And in every religion after becoming strong and the passing away of its founder have gone into concealment.19 End of quotation.

I say: What he has mentioned is claim without proof and it is proved by logic and religious texts and if there had been a weak reason behind it he would bring that also, since he is greedy that the requirement of Bayyat will show the reply to be proof because his leadership depends on that - as we have indicated - and in addition to this are following points of dispute that were mentioned in the discussion about allegiance to the Infallibles:

First: It is that if doing Bayyat by giving of the hand was obligatory in Islam or faith, it would have been obligatory on the Prophet, the Imam and their companions, rather on all the believers such that whoever entered Islam or Shiaism would be ordered to pay the allegiance. It was necessary for them to order it before commanding prayer and other obligations and it does not have a fixed time and with all our efforts we have not found such a thing in traditions, rather it is clear that this claim is also against that and if not he would have brought it into discussion as it proves his aim.

Second: It is that if we accept such a thing it would take all the believers since the time of the Imams (as) till our time beyond the pale of faith because they have never performed such a Bayyat.

Third: It is that a number of traditional reports say: Some of the prominent companions of the Holy Imams (as) presented their faith and duties for inspection and the Imams certified their faith and supported their deeds and considered their faith perfect, and in this regard neither in the statements of the questioners nor in the advices of the Holy Imams (as) we find any mention of Bayyat and if Bayyat had any effect in the establishment of faith or its perfection, the Imams would have mentioned it, as is clear, and some of these traditional reports are mentioned in Usool Kafi.

Fourth: It is that we have many traditional reports of the Holy Imams (as) regarding the qualities, manners and morals of believers and the discussion of signs of faith and its perfection etc, but in none of these we find any clarification about Bayyat.

Fifth: It is he says: …according to the nobility of this Bayyat…in critique I will say to him: Which evil is related to that the believers should discuss among themselves if they have given Bayyat to their chief? And which mischief is related to that Bayyat? And without any doubt giving of the hand in the view of people is easier than sacrifice of wealth?

And we openly see that religious persons have no problem in paying the Imam’s share to the scholars during the Ghaibat of His Eminence, so who will they have any objection to giving of hand, if they knew that in the view of the Shariah it is an obligatory act? It is just like Musafiha (handshake) that is common among them and the only difference lies in ones intention and title.

Sixth: It is that expression of the caliphate of Amirul Momineen (as) was much greater and its danger was more, as mentioned in verses, traditions and history, in spite of that the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered its expression because it is a part of faith. And if doing Bayyat to other than His Eminence had also been a part of faith – as this claimant thinks – the Holy Prophet (S) and his rightful caliph would have mentioned it.

Seventh: How can this great obligatory deed, regarding which they claim that no one can be a believer without it, has remained concealed from all believers and common people of this religion, except for the Sufi sect? It is nothing but a blatant allegation. We ask him: Was it a deficiency (God forbid) of the Prophet of his Caliphs (as) that they deprived all the people from the explanation of this order? Or was it a deficiency of all believers that they concealed the orders of the Almighty Allah from the unjust? In spite of all the efforts and propagation of religious law! And by Allah, I ask Your refuge from evils that deviate and misguide.

Eighth: If this matter was obligatory to complete the faith it was necessary that it should have been mentioned in books of scholars and should have been a subject of discussion among them. Thus how can such a thing be claimed while not even one traditional report has mentioned it? And if this claimant thinks that is mentioned in one of the books, he should bring it to us.

Ninth: According to Sufis’ claim that it is a hidden secret and it was arranged to keep it concealed. Then how can – with regard to this view – they act in opposition to it and reveal this matter and announce it in their books and talks.

If you say: In your own view – you are owners of secrets and secrets are not concealed from those who are deserving of them. I will say: Was there no one among the Holy Prophet (S), the Imams (as) and their companions worthy of this secret that they could have been told? While the fact is that there were many special people among them such that each and every Imam had some confidants. Since we know that the Imams did not mention such a thing, then how have the Sufis got it and how only they are specialized with it?

Tenth: Ignoring all that we have mentioned so far, we say: As you say that Bayyat is obligatory by putting the hand in the hand of the Shaykh or one he has appointed as his deputy; what I want to know is that whether this deputyship is special or common? If you say that it is special I will say that it is an established fact in Shia Imamiyah that special deputyship is no more in the period of Major Occultation. In addition to this – this statement of his, like other statements is without any evidence. If you say: It is general deputyship, why he has appointed only a particular person for this? And if the appointment of a special person was through the appointment and permission of the Shaykh with regard to him, I will say: We will object to the Shaykh for firstly: Why has he appointed a Shaykh?

Secondly: Who has given him the authority to appoint a person? Because any statement other than that of the infallible Imam is not having any worth in this matter, it does not reach to an Infallible and it would imply they have given legislating power to another which is not possible. That is why this permission is not restricted to the Mujtahids; rather they have to prove that each of their verdicts is compatible with the sayings of the Holy Imams (as).

Also such permission is quite different from the permission of Sufi Shaykhs to take Bayyat. In the end his statement that: “In the same way are the true Sufis, in commands and prohibitions and in explaining the laws and seeking forgiveness for the people and taking Bayyat from them are not included except whom they have permitted…” is against Qur’anic verses and traditions received from the Holy Imams (as), because it is the duty of all Muslims to enjoin good, forbid evil, and explain religious laws. And only particular persons are not selected for this.

The same is the case of seeking forgiveness because it is a sort of Dua. And to encourage and order Dua is upon all believer men and women and to pray for brothers in faith in their absence is mentioned in traditions. To seek forgiveness and pray for people of faith is the duty of all believer men and women and this matter is clear to all that are conversant with traditional reports and Qur’anic verses; such that if we mention all of them this book will be unduly prolonged. And as for taking of Bayyat, it is the specialty of the Holy Prophet (S), the Imams and whom they have appointed in a special way and it is not allowed for anyone else. This much would be sufficient for people of sincerity.

  • 1. Majma al-Bahrayn, Vol. 2, Pg. 345
  • 2. Al-Ihtijaaj, Vol. 1, Pg. 115
  • 3. Usool Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 405
  • 4. Al-Ihtijaaj, Vol. 1, Pg. 74, Tradition of Ghadeer
  • 5. Muslim, Vol. 3, Pg. 1478; Bukhari, Vol. 2, Pg. 13; Rabiul Abraar, Vol. 4, Pg. 221
  • 6. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 102, Pg. 111
  • 7. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 102, Pg. 110, Chapter 7
  • 8. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 86, Pg. 61, Chapter 38, Tr. no. 69
  • 9. Sahifa Sajjadiya, Supplication no. 48
  • 10. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 4, Pg. 83
  • 11. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 53, Pg. 8
  • 12. Al-Ihtijaaj, Vol. 1, Pg. 66, Tradition of Ghadeer
  • 13. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 102, Pg. 111, Chapter 7
  • 14. Al-Ihtijaaj, Vol. 1, Pg. 84, Sermon of Ghadeer
  • 15. Saigal Uqood, Pg. 146
  • 16. Saigal Uqood, Pg. 147
  • 17. Bayanul Saadah Fee Maqaamaatil Ibaadah, Vol. 2, Pg. 292, University of Tehran, Published 1344
  • 18. Bayanul Saadah Fee Maqaamaatil Ibaadah, Vol. 2, Pg. 292
  • 19. Bayanul Saadah Fee Maqaamaatil Ibaadah, Vol. 2, Pg. 280